by July 25, 2013 0 comments

The robotic systems in paint shops at Chakan (Of Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers) often caught viruses that resulted in major losses of production. Every time, the technical engineer from Germany had to attend to the problem, causing charges and loss of time in fixing the issues. They had to find a way to eliminate the threat of malware and viruses affecting the robotic systems.

The Solution

Checks of parameters were done to ensure basic functioning, and viruses were removed from the robotic systems periodically. The right tools were selected and tested, and virus patterns were updated on the antivirus software regularly, and Microsoft patches were updated regularly. This comprehensive solution was carried out with the concurrence of the key stakeholders and ensuring that the process did not affect the production cycle of the paint shop. Stringent timelines were followed and the robotic systems were cleansed. All 22 robotic control systems and 17 ecosystems at the 45JPH paint shop were implemented with this solution, and other paint shop owners are currently requesting for the same implementation.

Company Scenario

Before deployment: Robotic systems of the Mahindra Vehicles Manufacturers( In Chakan,Mumbai) were facing major production loss because of robotic systems being infected with viruses. Technicians from Germany had to be contacted over teleconference and they had to remotely troubleshoot the systems, which resulted in hours of downtime and a lot of monetary loss was incurred thus.

What was deployed: An integrated automated solution that checked the robotic systems for viruses, and ensured parameters were always set correctly for the functioning of the systems, tool testing was done regularly and updating of virus patterns was done on a regular basis and implemented across all the control systems. Microsoft patches were installed and updated fastidiously, and a stringent timeline was followed for all of this to minimize downtime.

After deployment: A zero production loss after solution implementation showed how effective it was. Dependency on international agencies for support was eliminated, and the solution was maintained by the internal IT team.



The Challenges

Manual interventions to fix the robotic systems were leading to production losses and additional manpower being needed, and this was the main challenge of the project.

The main challenge also was to reduce the downtime and keep it to a minimal amount, as implementation of the solution would interrupt ecosystem applications that would lead to downtime. Also, reliance on international agencies and systems integrators(Durr Gmbh, KioRotech Gmbh) was pricey and time-consuming, and getting their help in implementation of the automated systems were difficult.

The Result

Dependency on international agencies to fix the problems with the robotic systems was reduced dramatically. A loss of Rs. 5.40 crores was expected due to the stated problems, but was avoided by the new solution. Moreover, ecosystem applications began to run much more smoothly, and data server was able to communicate with PLCs without intermittent disruptions. 1 Man day per system incident was being lost prior to the solution being implemented, and this amount of man hours were saved from using the solution. Solution was also implemented with minimal effect on existing systems, and has been replicated on 2 paint shops. Since the implementation, there has been 0 production loss at both of the shops.

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